As we stand on the threshold of a brand new year, let us collectively embark on a journey filled with hope, compassion, and the unwavering pursuit of peace. The dawn of a new year symbolizes a fresh start, a blank canvas upon which we can paint a world characterized by harmony and unity.
It is also an occasion for reflection. We, at the VPA, had a successful 2023 as we pursued programmes and projects that impacted the lives of many.
One such initiative is Drumming for Peace, which has expanded to reach 22 institutions since its inception in 2020, with the majority in homes managed by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency. The Child Resiliency Programme expanded its programme to train university students, community leaders and professionals in Peace Resiliency and Wellness.
Through Project X-Change, a project targeting very high risk youths in Hannah Town and Jones Town in Kingston and Effortville in May Pen, Clarendon, we have been seeking to impact their lives towards a positive pathway by teaching them how to manage conflicts and improve their economic circumstances.
We have also partnered with Project STAR. We have bolstered this project with our data, expertise, and guidance in identifying the vulnerable communities for intervention by the project.
As we raise our glasses to toast the arrival of the New Year, let it also be a toast to a world where conflicts are resolved through dialogue, where justice prevails, and where the collective dream of peace becomes a reality. Together, we can build bridges of understanding that span communities, erasing the lines that divide us and embracing the ties that bind us.
Dr Deanna Ashley
Executive Director, VPA